by Vitalii Usenko April 29, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Russian government will provide funding for the relocation of Ukraine defense industry specialists to the enterprises of the Russian military industrial complex. Putin said this at a meeting with members of the legislature of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, a UNIAN correspondent in Russia reports. Putin’s strategy, it seems, is to try to move the Ukrainian defense industry to Russia in case his plan of occupying or controlling Eastern and Southern Ukraine fails.
“As for the possibility of moving to Russia specialists from Ukraine, if they are willing we will help you [Russian regional authorities] to accommodate them,” Putin said in reply to the questions of the member of the Voronezh Regional Duma Vladimir Pliushchenko at the meeting.
“All the necessary funds from the federal budget will be provided to you. I have to say that this process has already started. There is more than one family, more than one specialist that has moved to Russia. Of course, in this case I mean those specialists of the Ukrainian military industrial complex who are in high demand within our [defence industry] enterprises,” said Putin. Putin noted that Ukraine has a very high potential and excellent defense industry specialists. “Welcome to Russia. We are looking forward to seeing you at our enterprises,” he said.
Earlier, Pliushchenko said that three years ago the team of the Ukrainian state aircraft manufacturing plant Antonov offered to move with their families to Voronezh, but then it was no so important.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk and the government were going to fire the CEO of Antonov, Dmytro Kiva, from his post last week. In a letter, Vitali Klitschko, leader of the UDAR party, urged speaker Oleksander Turchinov, acting President of Ukraine, and Yatseniuk, to reverse this decision. Klitschko asserted that firing Kiva would play into the strategy of Russian raiders who, for years, have targeted Ukrainian defense industry enterprises.
According to Pliushchenko, the Ukrainian defense enterprises that are working in collaboration with Russia have financial difficulties, and 20 years of cooperation are in jeopardy. He said that Russian companies have established good contacts with Ukrainian companies, but that the [Ukrainian] government authorities can interfere with this cooperation.
As reported by Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Russia), the state concern Ukroboronprom suspended military-technical cooperation with Russia in mid-April 2014, Acting CEO of Ukroboronprom Yuriy Tereshchenko said. More than a thousand industrial enterprises in the defense industry alone in Russia and Ukraine were involved in technological co-operation. It will be extremely difficult to replace the products of the largest Ukrainian [defence] companies, such as Dnepropetrovsk KB Yuzhnoye, Kyiv State Enterpise Antonov, Zaporizhya engine factory Motor Sich, Dnipro Machine-Building Plant and many others.
However, these Ukrainian companies and all their employees suffer from reduced production. Taking this into consideration, Putin invited these professionals to work in Russia. According to him, top caliber Ukrainian specialists in the military-industrial complex sphere, if they wish, can find a worthy use of their abilities and professional skills in Russia, and they can count on full support during their move and accommodation in Russia.
“We have the impression that Ukrainian colleagues with their families are ready come and work at our military enterprises,” said Pliushchenko.
Perhaps foreseeing the threat of such developments and the implications for the US, EU and NATO, George Soros talked about a Marshall Plan for Ukraine during his surprise visit to Kyiv on April 6, 2014. At issue are huge industrial complexes in Eastern and Southern Ukraine, which are in urgent need of restructuring. It is essential that the restructuring be done in compliance with EU technical standards. In order to achieve this, a large-scale financial assistance program and a technical assistance program for Ukraine, are vital. Closing these industries is not a viable solution, as they provide hundreds of thousands of jobs. To close them would result in a dangerous and unpredictable social upheaval that could lead to the disintegration of Ukraine, a brain-drain and the export of essential and urgently needed defense technologies from Ukraine to Russia.
There have been calls by experts to develop the Ukrainian defense industry. This will help Ukraine to fill its budget as well as to provide employment and retain high-caliber defense industry specialists in Ukraine. Vitali Klitschko, leader of UDAR party, is a proponent of this course of action. He stated in the Verkhovna Rada that there is an urgent need to prepare a development program for military industrial complex enterprises and to give them the opportunity to supply the Ukrainian army. A revival of the Ukrainain defense industry is also essential for securing Ukraine against aggression, Klitschko asserts.
Failure to support the defense industry in Ukraine could result in a brain-drain of top-notch Ukrainain defense industry specialists and the transfer of sensitive military technologies from Ukraine to Russia. This would allow Russia to succcessfully complete the re-armement of the Russian army despite US and EU sanctions.
Based on UNIAN (Ukraine), Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Russia) and Euromaidan PR articles and reports
Edited by Olena Wawryshyn